Monthly Archives: March 2010

Welcome back, old friend

Now that I am cleared to go back to the gym, I am back to wearing my post-op sports brace. The brace was custom made to fit my leg’s measurements. It fit back when I was in college when I had the surgery and is a little big now, but it will do. This brace is designed for ACL injuries and it keeps my knee lined up and prevents lateral movement. If you watch closely, most college football teams wear these braces as a preventative measure.

When I was recovering from both of my previous ACL surgeries, I had to wear these type of braces for any and all physical activity, even running! This brace is not fun to fun in. The velco scrapes my inner calves, and my other leg gets scratched up from hitting the brace. My brace for my left knee is a sparkly blue color! If I had to wear both of them at the same time I could support many sports teams 🙂

Anyway, my brace is out of storage and back in commission. I have to wear it to the gym and I must say, that it is attracting substancial stares from my fellow gym goers. I don’t know why it is provoking so many stares. Maybe because it is a different knee brace than most. Or maybe because I am limping around the gym in it. I don’t know. But, here it is.
Side View
Front View                                                       Back View
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Back to the Gym!

The last time I ran was on January 17, 2010, and the last time I was at the gym was February 2, 2010…that is, until today! I had a check-up appointment with my orthopedic surgeon today and he cleared me to do modified exercise at the gym. YES! Also, it looks like my surgery will be scheduled on Tuesday, May 18.

The doctors appointment went well, for the most part. I had several questions to ask him about recovery time, supplements, and working out. Here is what he told me.
Q: What is the recovery time for revision reconstructive ACL and menisus repair surgery?
A: Six months at a minimum. It could take up to a year depending on how I respond to surgery, rehab, and physical therapy.

Q: I read on my fish oil supplement that it says stop taking it if you have an impending surgery
A: I can keep taking it for now. I just need to stop 10 days to two weeks before surgery so that the clotting agents in my blood will be okay for surgery

Q: What kind of exercise can I do now? Can I at least ride the bike.
A: I can ride the bike and do almost all of my regular exercises. I have to be aware of my knee and how the exercise is affecting it. If something bothers it, obviously don’t do it. I want to have my leg muscles in my right leg be as strong as possible for surgery, that way rehab will be easier.

So, that was it. I am pretty disappointed to know that a full rehabilitation may take up to a year. Especially because my other knee surgeries had a shorter recovery time. That possibly takes out the LA Marathon (even a walk/jog) in 2012, but at least I am working toward getting healthier. I still plan on adding to my bucket list of things I want to accomplish and reaccomplish after knee surgery. Of course, a BQ is on that list!

After my appointment this morning, I went to the gym. Oh how I have missed that place! While I am still limited on many of the things I want to do, like running and heavy lifting, I am still there. Today I did an easy day to get myself back in the groove. I rode 5.25 miles on the bike (which I hope to increase slowly) and did a modified lower body workout. I did the leg curl machine, the leg press machine, the leg extension machine, the abductor machine, the adductor machine, and some abs! Oh it was great. I love a little sweat!

Suprisingly enough, when I weighed myself pre-workout, I was down 5 pounds! And, this was after breakfast and a lot of water too, so I am probably down 6+ pounds. I am somewhat sad about this. I know it is all muscle, but I know atrophy is a part of an injury such as mine, but it is annoying nonetheless. At least I did not gain though! Because that would have meant added weight plus loss of muscle.

Facing reality and setting goals

My surgery will be in May. The recovery time is pretty substancial -about half a year or slightly more. All of my planned races for 2010 are no longer feasible. With that said, I have started planning things that I want to accomplish, and reaccomplish, post knee surgery. This is my post-knee surgery bucket list. These are things that I want to do and accomplish on my road to recovery and after recovery.

Here is the start of my growing list:
1. Complete the Long Beach Marathon Bike Race in October 2010
2. Walk/Run the LA Marathon in March 2011
3. Race a marathon in Fall/Winter 2011
4. Hike Mt. Baldy again … but this time plan ahead and make it ALL the way to the top. We were about 500 feet from the summit. Here are some pictures from our hike up the mountain last year.

Zac and I at the start of the trail (last year). I think this is at about 6000 feet.
The view of the Inland Empire from (almost) the top. This is about 9600 feet up 🙂

LA Marathon 2010

The 25th running of the Los Angeles Marathon was yesterday and I want to take a brfief moment to congratulate all my friends who ran it. CONGRATULATIONS! The course sure looked much more hilly (on TV) than I thought it was going to be!

I’ll see you, L.A., in 2011

Recently, I contacted the L.A. Marathon. Last I heard, there were less than 250 spots for this year’s race and I know it will sell out. I hold one of these coveted spots, but I can’t run it. I was interested to see if LA had a waiting list. That way I could just transfer my entry to a healthy runner, and get back my $125 entry fee. I think it is a win-win situation. That did not happen, but the marathon is letting me transfer my registration to next year! I had to send in a letter and a doctor’s note stating my injury. I am so excited. I was really looking forward to running this year, especially with the new, awesome course; I was crushed when I realized it would not happen this year.

I’ve not got my eyes on a prize and a post-surgery goal. Watch out, L.A. Marathon 2011!

With that said, it will be tough to get into marathon shape by next March. I can’t even have surgery until May, and this type of surgery usually has a 6-8 month recovery time for being able to get back into sports. I will, however, be on the bike a couple weeks after surgery, and I will have to use the bike to slowly build my endurance. I know next year’s LA won’t be another sub 4 marathon, and I definitely will not qualify for Boston, but I plan on slowly jogging it, and probably walking through all of the water stops and possibly more than that also.

My goal is to complete a marathon next year after my third knee surgery! I am making this promise to myself that I won’t get discouraged and I won’t get discouraged with my time. Finishing a marathon 10 months after knee surgery will be a reward in itself.

Uuuuuugh

Sometimes it is just so hard to stay positive. I am so sick of not being able to run. I miss it so much. And yes, I do know that I am fortunate enough to eventually be able to run again, but that seems like it will take an eternity. Recently, the LA Marathon released the course video. It is such an amazing course this year and I am just completely bummed I am missing the 25th running of the LA Marathon. Also, today I received my entry confirmation in my email. UUGH. Also, Zac and I went to Sport Chalet today. All I wanted to do was buy new running, yoga, and golf gear. It is getting hard to be impatient.

Also, for some reason today was just a bad knee day in general. I woke up and it was slightly more swollen than usual. It was also much stiffer and in a bit more pain that it usually is also.

😦

Running to Tyler

Yesterday, one of my running friends posted this video. It is probably one of the best inspirational running stories I’ve seen in a while. It really put everything into perspective and makes you think about what really matters in life.

Four Santa Barbara fire fighters ran 94 miles over three days to visit a fellow fire fighter in the hospital.

Yes; training is tough, but people go through so much pain in a day -everyday. Yes; injuries suck, but we should be thankful for the rest of our healthy parts.

I have a special place in my heart for people who serve our country, whether it be police, fire, or military. This video brought me to tears. This is what friendship, what brotherhood, looks like. These are the relationships in life that make our lives worth living.

Running to Tyler from http://vimeo.com/user2870863 on Vimeo.